Why does my dog chase his tail?

These are some of the common health problems that may cause tail chasing...

We’ve all seen a dog zooming in circles as they try to catch their tail. It can make for hilarious entertainment, both for you and your furbaby. Sometimes, however, running in circles is not just a sign of a quirky mood or a burst of energy – it could also be caused by a deeper rooted issue. These are three common health problems that may cause tail chasing:


Our furry companions can suffer from anxiety in much the same way as we do. Repetitive behaviour is often caused by anxiety and can range from excessive licking of chewing, barking or tail chasing. Try to take note of any sudden changes in your dog’s immediate environment that may trigger this behaviour and see what happens if you eliminate the change. If it becomes worse, speak to your vet or certified animal behaviour specialist about the tail chasing and anxiety treatment options.

Canine Compulsive Disorder

Dogs who are obsessed with repetitive behaviours such as licking their paws, pacing up and down or chasing their tails and cannot be stopped might be suffering from Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD). Causes include genetics, anxiety, medical problems or frustration. Try to eliminate possible triggers for frustration or anxiety (such as being locked up, being separated from you or not having access to their favourite toy). If this does not help, speak to your vet.

Injury, allergy or other medical issues

If constant tail chasing is a new habit, your dog might be suffering from a health issue. First thing is to gently check your dog’s tail to see if they may have an injury or even a broken bone in the tail. If you cannot see anything abnormal and your dog is happy for you to touch his tail, it might be something internal such as anal gland or nervous system issues, allergies of even a seizure disorder. Consult your vet for advice.

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